Rich County CRM - Utah CBCP

    Rich County CRM


    • Next Meeting: to be announced.

    • Meetings are usually held at the Rich Senior Center (21 N Main St., Randolph). Contact Dave Dahlgren for more details.

    • For more information contact Dave Dahlgren at To be placed on mailing list and or for specific meeting location and times please contact: David Dahlgren, CBC EXT Specialist, at

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      Research Field Notes April to June 2018

    Rich County CRM Systems Manual

    Rich County Sage-grouse Conservation Plan

    A note about the Rich County sage-grouse plan: This is an adaptive plan, it will be reviewed annually and therefore is likely to be amended, changed, updated, and reported upon but it will not be ignored and just put on the shelf as a monumental accomplishment of those involved.

    DRAFT 1 Sage-grouse Conservation Plan 2006

    Reports and Publications

    • 2017 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section or entire report
    • Smith, Wayne, and Terry A. Messmer. 2016. Greater sage-grouse responses to livestock grazing in sagebrush rangelands. Annual Report. Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University Extension, and the Jack H. Berryman Institute, Logan UT. 12pps.
    • Dettenmaier, Seth J. and Terry Messmer. 2016. Greater Sage-grouse Response to Season-Long and Prescribed Grazing (NRCS Conservation Practice 528) on Paired Study Sites in Rich County, Utah, USA. Final Report, September 2016. Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
    • 2016 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section, entire LWG report
    • Cardinal, Casey J. 2015. Factors Influencing the Ecology of Greater Sage-grouse Inhabiting the Bear Lake Plateau and Valley, Idaho and Utah. M.S.Thesis,Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
    • 2015 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section
    • Dahlgren, D.K., R.T. Larsen, R. Danvir, G. Wilson, E.T. Thacker, T.A. Black, D.E. Naugle, J.W. Connelly, and T.A. Messmer. 2015. Greater Sage-grouse and Range Management: Insights from a 25-Year Case Study in Utah and Wyoming. Rangeland Ecology and Management 68:375-382. pdf file
    • Seth Dettenmaier and Terry Messmer. 2015. Annual Report. Greater Sagegrouse Response to Season-long and Prescribed Grazing (NRCS conservation Practice 528) on Paired Ecological Sites.
    • Casey Cardinal, 2015. Thesis Defense Presentation. Factors influencing the Ecology of Greater Sage-grouse in the Bear Lake Plateau and Valley, Idaho-Utah.
    • Seth Dettenamier. 2015. Greater Sage-grouse Response to Season-long and Prescribed Rotational Livestock Grazing. 2014 Research Review presented to Deseret Land and Livestock on Jan. 7, 2015.
    • Seth Dettenmaier. 2014. Greater Sage-grouse Response to Season-long and Prescribed Rotational Livestock Grazing on Paired Ecological Sites. Presented at the Utah Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, Nov. 6, 2014.
    • Seth Dettenmaier and Terry Messmer. September 2014. Greater Sage-grouse response to season-long and prescribed grazing on paired ecological sites. Annual report.
    • 2014 Accomplishment Report, Rich County section
    • Seth Dettenmaier and Terry Messmer. November 2013. 2012-13 Vegetation data summary Greater Sage-grouse response to season-long and prescribed grazing (NRCS Conservation Practice 528) on paired ecological sites.
    • Seth Dettenmaier and Terry Messmer. 2013 Annual Report. Greater Sage-grouse Response to Season-long and prescribed Grazing (NRCS Conservation Practice 528) on Paired Ecological Sites (Phase 1).
    • Robert Edgel presentation, April 2013. Looking at Impacts of construction of the Ruby Pipeline on Pygmy Rabbits in Rich County, Utah.
    • 2012 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section
    • Seth Dettenmaier, Todd Black, and Terry Messmer. 2012.Greater Sage-Grouse Response to Season-Long and Prescribed Grazing (NRCS Conservation Practice 528) on Paired Ecological Sites (Phase 1). 2012 Progress Report.
    • Casey Cardinal and Terry Messmer. 2012.Factors Influencing the Ecology of Greater Sage-Grouse Inhabiting the Bear Lake Plateau and Valley, Idaho-Utah. 2012 Progress Report.
    • Casey Cardinal. 2012. Update report on the Bear Lake Sage-grouse Research Project, July 2012.
    • Casey Cardinal. 2012. Factors Influencing the Ecology of Greater Sage-grouse Inhabiting the Bear Lake Plateau and Valley, Idaho-Utah. 2011 Progress Report.
    • 2011 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section.
    • Guttery, M.R., D.K. Dahlgren, and T.A. Messmer. 2011. Evaluation of Alternative Methods to Estimate Greater Sage-grouse Populations. Project Completion Report.
    • Casey Cardinal. 2011.Factors influencing the Ecology of Greater Sage-Grouse on the Bear Lake Valley, Utah-IdahoCurrent Research Progress and Future Research Plans. Presentation
    • Casey Cardinal. 2011. Factors influencing the ecology of Greater sage-grouse in the Bear Lake Valley, Idaho-Utah.Presentation given at the USU Wildland Resources Graduate Student Symposium.
    • Wilson, T.L., F.P. Howe, and T.C. Edwards, Jr. 2011. Effects of Sagebrush Treatments on Multi-Scale Resource Selection by Pygmy Rabbits. J. Wildlife Management 75(2):393-398. Abstract.
    • Stringham, R. 2010. Greater Sage-grouse Response to Sagebrush Manipulations in Rich County, Utah. Master's Thesis. Utah State University, Logan.
    • Ripplinger, J. 2010. Quantifying Legacy Effects of Managed Disturbance on Sagebrush Steppe Resilience and Diversity. Master's Thesis. Utah State University, Logan.
    • Wilson, T.L. 2010. A Multi-scale Evaluation of Pygmy Rabbit Space Use in a Managed Landscape. Ph.D. Dissertation. Utah State University, Logan.
    • Wilson, T.L., J.B. Odei, M.B. Hooten, and T.C. Edwards, Jr. 2010. Hierarchical spatial models for predicting pygmy rabbit distribution and relative abundance. J. Appl. Ecol. 47:401-409. Summary.
    • Research Report (2010): Greater sage-grouse Ecology, Movements, and Habitat Use Related to Land Use Patterns in the Vicinity of Bear Lake by Casey Cardinal
    • 2010 Accomplishment Report, Rich County Section
    • Evaluation of Brood Detection Techniques: Recommendations for Estimating Greater Sage-grouse Productivity. Article in Western North American Naturalist by D.K. Dahlgren, T.A. Messmer, E.T. Thacker, and M.R. Guttery. 2010.
    • Achieving Better Estimates of Greater Sage-Grouse Chick Survival in Utah. Article in Journal of Wildlife Management by D.K. Dahlgren, T.A. Messmer and D.N. Koons. 2010.
    • Prelimary Report by David Dahlgren (2010). Greater Sage-grouse Population Estimation Study: Deseret Land and Livestock and Parker Mountain.
    • Norvell, R.E. 2008. Disturbance as Restoration in the Intermountain Sagebrush-steppe: Effects on Non-target Bird Species. Ph.D.Dissertation. Utah State University, Logan.
    • 2008 Accomplishment Report; Rich County Section
    • 2006-7Accomplishment Report; Rich County Section
    • Rich County Wildlife Overview for 2009-10. Presentation.
    • Greater Sage-grouse research in Rich County. Presentation in Spring 2010 by Roger Stringham.
    • Pigmy Rabbit Studies in Rich County, Utah. Presentation in Spring 2010 by Tammy L. Wilson.
    • Long-term effects of shrub treatments on sagebrush steppe resilience and diversity. Presentation in Spring 2010 by Julie Ripplinger.
    • Danvir, R.E. 2002. Sage Grouse Ecology and Management in Northern Utah Sagebrush-Steppe. A Deseret Land and Livestock Wildlife Research Report. Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch and The Foundation for Quality Resource Management.

    Flagship Project

    Effects of Season-Long and Rotational Prescribed Livestock Grazing on Greater Sage-grouse Vital Rates, Habitat Quality, and Population Trends in the Wyoming Basin Management Zone
    Declines in Greater sage-grouse populations have concerned land managers and private land owners for decades. Much of this decline has been attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation, and plant community changes that occurred over the past century. Of particular controversy are the potential impacts of livestock grazing on sage-grouse habitat. Recent research concluded that there is a lack of experimental studies documenting causal relationship between sage-grouse conservation and livestock grazing. This project has been specifically developed to address this issue.
    The objective of the project is to compare the effects of season-long and prescribed rotational grazing practices on sage-grouse habitat quality, sage-grouse vital rates, and its consequential impacts to greater sage-grouse population trends. The study will be based in Rich County, Utah, which occupies the western extent of the Wyoming Basin sage-grouse management zone.
    There are two sites that comprise the project area. The first is Deseret Land and Livestock (DLL) an 81,000 ha privately held ranch managed under rotational prescribed grazing practices. The second site is Three Creeks, a 59,000 ha collection of 27 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and private allotments. This site is currently managed under season-long grazing practices.
    The project consists of two phases to be implemented over five years. Phase 1 occurs during the first two years and will evaluate the grazing practices on Three Creeks, comparing them with the grazing practices on DLL. We will begin Phase 2 at the beginning of year 3. Three Creeks will implement a change from season-long grazing to rotational prescribed grazing management. This phase constitutes a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) study. A comparison will be made between the two years of previous data collected on Three Creeks to the following three years of post-treatment data.
    Methods used to monitor the ecological changes will include lek counts, radio-telemetry, vegetation and habitat measurements, as well as predator surveys. A survey of western stakeholder’s perceptions of livestock grazing effects on wildlife will also be conducted and then compared to a similar previous survey. From this comparison we hope to determine if attitudes toward livestock grazing and sage-grouse conservation have changed over time and why.
    Particular questions to be addressed by the project include:
    • Vital Rates – How do vital rates of sage-grouse populations differ under season-long and rotational prescribed grazing management practices? Do populations of sage-grouse located on land managed under prescribed grazing practices exhibit higher rates of nesting, brood success, recruitment, etc., than populations in areas managed under season-long grazing? How do survival rates differ in areas under these different grazing management strategies?
    • Habitat Use Patterns and Home Ranges – Do sage-grouse habitat-use patterns differ based on grazing regimes?
    • Mortality – What is the impact of different types of anthropogenic and naturally occurring mortality (hunting, pred., etc.) on grouse populations? Do rates of predator based mortality change in relation to grazing management practices? Does predator abundance vary based on livestock management strategies?
    • Vegetation - How does vegetation respond under different grazing practices? What are the differences in vegetation structure, abundance, and plant diversity between areas grazed under season-long and rotational prescribed grazing management?
    • Public Perception – What perceptions do western stakeholders hold about the effects of livestock grazing on wildlife? How have these perceptions changed over time?
    Understanding the effects of season-long and prescribed grazing on sage-grouse habitat and population vital rates will provide land managers and private land owners the ability to implement grazing systems that could simultaneously benefit sage-grouse and livestock operators.
    Public land management agencies also stand to benefit from this research. The BLM is responsible for managing a large portion of public lands for sage-grouse, livestock grazing, and energy development in the West. Determining grazing practices that could improve habitat and increase sage-grouse populations could allow the agency to mitigate other land uses that could negatively impact sage-grouse such as energy development.

    Project funding has been graciously provide by the Sage Grouse Initiative (, Utah State University Extension, the Rich Coordinated Resources Management Group, Deseret Land and Livestock, Bureau of Land Management, the USU Quinney Professorship for Wildlife Conflict Management, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.


    Seth Dettenmaier is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University. He received a B.S. in Conservation/Restoration Ecology from Utah State University in 2006. After graduating, he moved to Twin Falls, Idaho to accept a position working with the Bureau of Land Management. During his 5 years with the BLM Seth was involved in many aspects of public lands management including water rights issues, fire rehabilitation, habitat surveys, wildlife surveys, livestock compliance, rangeland assessments, and endangered species monitoring. While in Idaho he also volunteered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). He had the opportunity to work on projects that were more wildlife focused such as trapping and collaring mule deer, small rodent surveys, trapping and relocating Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, and many aspects of greater sage-grouse work. It was these opportunities at IDFG that sparked his interest in broadening his botanical focused background to include wildlife as well. This blending of disciplines has led to his current pursuit of a doctorate in Wildlife Ecology. Seth’s interests include landscape scale habitat use by species, animal population ecology, habitat quality assessments, and public lands management.

    Picture of Seth Dettenmaier